Vegetarian Mondays, or the newly coined term 'Meatless Mondays', has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. It isn't just my nuclear family that follows it, but my entire extended family and cousins, as well. It all started with our mothers, who simply asked each of their families to abstain from meat on Mondays because of their personal religious beliefs. But now, it is so embedded in us that when we are all together in one household, not only are we cooking vegetarian food, we are cooking dishes that are extremely simple and abundantly nutritious. Vegetarian Mondays have become my family's way of resetting from the weekend, providing our bodies with a nice detox and energy that carries us through the week.
I can see why so many individuals have chosen to follow this path of Meatless Mondays and why it has become a worldwide trend. Even though it's just one day of the week, the collective effort is so much higher. Just think about it this way: 1 day per week is 52 days per year. Sprinkle in an additional few vegetarian days here and there, and you are vegetarian for 2 months of the whole year.
Not only are you positively impacting your own personal health, but you're also improving the health of the planet. According to the Meatless Monday website, "For every burger skipped (perhaps replaced with the new Beyond Meat patty—see below), we save enough energy to charge our phones for 4.5 years and enough water to drink for three years." Now, can you imagine if every person did this?
So even though our mothers had no idea beyond helping our karma (as much as they could) that they were also improving our health and benefitting the planet, I definitely want to thank all of them for instilling this behavior in us that we've already started to pass down to the next generation. My cousins and I have, on numerous occasions separately and together, figured out creative ways to make Monday dinners exciting and easy.
Here are my top 3 easiest vegetarian recipes I'd like to share again with you. If you're thinking of ever giving Meatless Monday a try, then look no further and give your first month a go with these very simple and healthy dishes:
Vegan Polenta and Truffle Mushrooms - creamy polenta made with coconut milk, topped with roasted broccoli and mushrooms sautéed in garlic and truffle oil.
Easy Lemon & Garlic Swiss Chard Salad - no part of the Swiss Chard goes to waste with this recipe - season the dish with some Nutritional Yeast to give it a nice cheesy bite.
Sesame Tofu Bowls - This one is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. Before tofu-haters (yes, you) skip over this one, bear in mind the sesame mixed in with the peanuts and the spices make this dish so flavorful and beautiful and very, very filling.
Please feel free to review the recipes and comment with any feedback you may have! And if you start giving Meatless Monday a try, definitely let me know!